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MARION MERRELL DOW REPORTS STRONG FIRST-QUARTER SALES, EARNINGS GROWTH

MARION MERRELL DOW REPORTS STRONG FIRST-QUARTER SALES, EARNINGS GROWTH
 KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Marion Merrell Dow Inc. (NYSE: MKC) today reported record sales and earnings in the first quarter of 1992, reflecting the continued strength of major brands and the success of four new U.S. products, as well as the impact of two international acquisitions.
 Net sales totaled $779 million for the quarter ended March 31, 1992, an increase of 21 percent from $644 million in the first quarter of 1991. Net income grew 22 percent to $170 million from $139 million a year earlier. Earnings per share were 60 cents, a 22 percent increase from 49 cents in the comparable period last year.
 "The recent launch of four important new pharmaceuticals in the U.S. market contributed significantly to our global growth," said Fred W. Lyons, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Marion Merrell Dow.
 In making the announcement, the company said its 1992 first- quarter net sales results included $33 million in sales by Nordic Laboratories Inc. of Canada, which was acquired last year. The acquisition occurred after the first quarter of 1991, so results for that period did not include Nordic's sales.
 The Seldane(R) family of antiallergy products continued to lead the global growth of Marion Merrell Dow, recording sales of $206 million in the first quarter, an increase of 30 percent from a year ago. Seldane family sales included $28 million in sales of Seldane-D(R), a unique combination of the company's successful nonsedating antihistamine, Seldane, with a leading decongestant. Seldane-D was introduced in the U.S. in August 1991.
 The Cardizem(R) family of cardiovascular drugs registered first- quarter sales of $233 million, up 18 percent from a year earlier, including $25 million in Cardizem sales from Nordic Laboratories. Adding to the success of this key brand were the U.S. launches of Cardizem(R) CD and Cardizem(R) Injectable, two new dosage forms introduced in late 1991. Promotion of Cardizem CD, a new once-a-day capsule for treating hypertension (high blood pressure), began during the quarter, and early prescription data are encouraging. "We recently began a national advertising campaign stressing the convenient dosing of Cardizem CD and its lower cost to patients," explained Lyons. "We expect this innovative direct-to-consumer ad campaign and other aggressive promotional activities to contribute significantly to the sales growth of this important product in the second quarter and beyond." Cardizem Injectable meets a serious medical need and saves hospital costs through quick, effective heart- rate control.
 Our Nicorette(R) nicotine gum and Nicoderm(R) nicotine transdermal system produced combined sales of $77 million in the first quarter, capitalizing on the expanding smoking cessation market to nearly triple the level of Nicorette sales alone in the like period in 1991. Nicoderm, the first transdermal nicotine patch approved in the U.S., has been very successful since its introduction in December 1991, contributing $55 million in first-quarter sales. Demand for Nicoderm has expanded rapidly since introduction, and the company has taken steps to increase production capacity with ALZA Corp., which developed Nicoderm and manufactures this innovative transdermal nicotine patch for Marion Merrell Dow.
 Sales of our Carafate(R) antiulcer medication declined 14 percent to $47 million in the first quarter, reflecting wholesale buying patterns which produced higher first-quarter sales a year ago, as well as a highly competitive U.S. market. First-quarter 1992 Carafate sales included $4 million in Canadian sales by Nordic.
 "We're pleased with the initial results of our four new-product launches," Lyons said. "We're working very hard to make each of these a success. Our strategy is to firmly establish these line extensions of key Marion Merrell Dow franchises, while developing other new drugs for the mid-1990s and beyond."
 The company's first-quarter sales also benefitted from the previously announced acquisition of Henning Berlin GmbH in Germany. On Jan. 2, 1992, the company completed its acquisition of Henning Berlin, approximately doubling Marion Merrell Dow's sales base in Germany.
 Based in Kansas City, Marion Merrell Dow is a global pharmaceutical firm that focuses on the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Marion Merrell Dow markets more than 140 products, predominantly in the United States and seven other key markets in North America, Europe and the Pacific Basin.
 MARION MERRELL DOW INC.
 Consolidated Statements of Earnings (a)
 Three Months Ended March 31
 (Amounts in Millions, Except for Per Share Data)
 For the Three
 Months Ended
 March 31,
 1992 1991
 Net sales $779 $644
 Cost of sales 177 157
 Gross profit 602 487
 Operating expenses:
 Research and development 103 84
 Selling, general and
 administrative 253 199
 Total operating
 expenses 356 283
 Operating income 246 204
 Other income, net 13 16
 Interest expense 3 4
 Income before income
 taxes 256 216
 Income taxes 86 77
 Net income 170 139
 Less preferred stock
 dividends 1 1
 Net income available to common
 shareholders $169 $138
 Weighted average number
 of outstanding common
 shares - assuming full
 dilution 282 282
 Earnings per common share
 - assuming full dilution $.60 $.49
 Cash dividends per
 common share $.23 $.20
 (a) Unaudited data
 -0- 4/21/92
 /CONTACT: David M. Thompson or Richard M. Johnson both of Marion Merrell Dow, 816-966-4000/
 (MKC) CO: Marion Merrell Dow Inc. ST: Missouri IN: MTC SU: ERN


MC -- DV003 -- 0661 04/21/92 12:37 EDT
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